Submitted by Alexander Johnson -- a second year York University student.

During a Community Garden planning meeting, the scripture discussed and analyzed was John 6: 1-13. The key event in the scripture is undoubtably Jesus feeding five thousand people with two fish and five barley loaves and later asking the disciples to collect the fragments which ended up filling twelve baskets. So when one reflects on their day to day life, we would imagine that it would be impossible to feed five thousand people with two fish and five barley loaves but the parable offers an interesting thought, “Maybe we do not need as much as we think we do”. This particularly applies to food. How often do we over eat? How much food is wasted?


Over eating often tends to be more prominent in Western societies, but nobody really no- tices that they are overeating. Eating until satisfied is not the same as eating until “full” and that becomes the problem. The difference can be seen when one goes to an average restaurant in comparison to a higher class restaurant. In the average restaurant, you receive so much food that you almost feel sick if you manage to finish the meal. In contrast, upper class restaurants serve smaller portions that usually seem too small but ultimately end up being sufficient. So if thou- sands of people can be fed with two fish and five loaves of bread, there should be no reason to make four visits to the buffet table.

The wasteful nature of human beings is also addressed as the disciples fill twelve baskets with food fragments that were left behind. One would believe that starting with so little and be- ing fed in such an incredible manner would encourage those in the crowd to ensure nothing would be wasted. The food fragments gathered by the disciples show the ungrateful and wasteful nature of the crowd and humans in general.

Overall, we can be wasteful, we can be greedy, and we can be ungrateful, but if we can take the lessons learned and make even the slightest effort to solve our problems we will be better society.